University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and Vomiting Handout

What is nausea?

Nausea is a queasy feeling in the stomach, which causes an aversion to eating. Nausea may be accompanied by vomiting, or the involuntary emptying of one’s stomach contents. In general, nausea and vomiting may be symptoms of an underlying disease, such as inflammation of the gall bladder or appendicitis, or they may occur as a direct response to specific stimuli, such as drugs, alcohol, food or motion. You may experience diarrhea along with nausea and vomiting.

 

What causes nausea?

•Viruses (commonly spread in situations involving close contact, e.g. classrooms, residence halls, etc.)

•Food poisoning (usually due to improper storage and/or preparation)

•Medications (many medications are marked with labels recommending ingestion with food in order to prevent associated nausea)

•Excessive use of alcohol

•Anxiety

•Pregnancy

 

How can I treat nausea?

Dietary control plays the most important role in your return to health. If you are actively vomiting, you must adhere to the following instructions:

1. Eat nothing for two hours, allowing your stomach to rest.

2. Begin replacing fluids by eating only ice chips with sips of water.

3. Progress to clear liquids, but only if vomiting has ceased. Examples include: water, apple juice, flat cola or ginger ale, weak tea (no milk), jello, broth or bouillon, popsicles

4. If you continue to improve, advance to soft, bland foods. Examples include: soft boiled eggs, crackers, applesauce, rice, bananas.

5. Eat only small amounts of food, as you proceed towards a more regular diet.

6. Avoid fried, fatty, greasy and spicy foods.

7. Avoid raw, bulky foods (e.g., high fiber foods).

8. Avoid dairy products, alcohol or coffee. If you follow the above guidelines, your stomach should have time to recover from whatever the “insult”. In doing so, you will avoid new foods which may irritate the stomach lining or may be difficult to digest before your stomach is ready. Contact a physician or nurse practitioner if you have followed these recommendations and are not feeling better after 24 hours OR if you have additional symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, weakness, faintness or possibility of pregnancy.

 

Diet Instructions for Vomiting and Diarrhea

If having nausea and vomiting, wait 2 hours after symptoms subside to begin these instructions.

First 24 hours after onset of symptoms

LIQUIDS:

• Ice chips

• Clear soups, broth

• Jell-O

• Popsicles

• Flat Soda, ginger ale, cola

• Gatorade/PowerAde

• Bouillon

• Weak Tea

• Apple Juice

 

After 24—48 hours

SOFT SOLID FOODS:

• Chicken noodle/rice soup

• Cooked, mild vegetables

• Fruit juice (non-acidic) (no orange or grapefruit)

• Applesauce, bananas

• Eggs (not fried)

• Potatoes (baked or mashed)

• Ready-to-eat cereal (no milk)

• Chicken

• Fish

• Cooked cereal

• Toast with jelly

• Canned pears, peaches

• Plain pasta, rice

• Saltines, pretzels

 

Foods to avoid for 3-5 days:

• Alcohol

• Coffee

• Spicy Foods

• Salads, raw fruit & vegetables

• Whole grain breads and bran cereals

• Milk/Milk Products

• Fried Foods

• Strong flavored vegetables